Georgia Sea Island Singers

Bessie Jones of the Georgia Sea Island Singers
Washington Area Spark, Bessie Jones at the first mass antiwar march on D.C.: 1965, Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Gullah Vocal Ensemble • Active from early 1900s to present day • American Folk Music

Fast Facts

  • The Georgia Sea Island Singers formed in the early 1900s.  
  • There have been many members over time and there is a current generation of singers still performing today.
  • They keep their Gullah heritage alive by performing all over the world.
  • They were originally formed to share the songs, ring shout dance, stories, and games of their enslaved ancestors.
  • Amateur folklorist Lydia Parrish began a collection of the songs in the book Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands.
  • Members have included the legendary gospel folk singer, Bessie Jones, Joe Armstrong, and Doug Quimby.

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